US 20030167550 A1
A disposable underarm perspiration shield has a flat flexible body having a first soft porous layer, which contacts the armpit of a user, A second moisture-absorbing layer retains the moisture secreted in the armpit of the user, while a third moisture-impermeable layer prevents the moisture from soiling a garment worn by the user. The flexible shield is detachably secured on the garment by a pressure-sensitive adhesive or secured on the body of the user by a resilient band placed over a shoulder.
1. An underarm shield, comprising:
a flexible body, comprised of a first moisture-permeable layer, a second moisture absorbing layer covering substantially one surface of the first layer, and
a third moisture-impermeable layer covering substantially a free surface of said second layer.
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9. An underarm perspiration shield, comprising:
a flat flexible body, comprised of a first moisture-permeable layer, a second moisture absorbing layer covering substantially one surface of the first layer, and
a third moisture-impermeable layer covering substantially a free surface of said second layer, said third layer being provided with a pressure-sensitive adhesive coating to allow attaching of the flexible body to an underarm portion of a garment.
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15. A disposable underarm perspiration shield, comprising:
a flat flexible body, comprised of a first moisture-permeable layer for contacting an underarm are of a user, a second moisture absorbing layer covering substantially one surface of the first layer, a third moisture-impermeable layer covering substantially a free surface of said second layer, said third layer carrying a flexible resilient band for engaging a shoulder of the user and securing the flexible body in the underarm area of the user.
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 The present invention relates to personal hygienic devices, and more particularly, to an absorbent shield to be positioned in the underarm of the user to prevent moisture from contacting and damaging clothing.
 People perspire during hot weather, during strenuous physical activity, at moments of stress, and due to other conditions. The sweating is used by the body as a device to regulate the temperature of the body and eliminate toxins from the body. The perspiration, which contains water, salt, acid, and other ingredients, is secreted, often profusely, in the underarm area of the human body. The secreted sweat may damage the garment, especially if the garment is made from a delicate fabric, such as silks, chiffon, cotton, wood, rayon and the like. Sweat stains are sometimes difficult to remove by conventional methods of laundering or dry cleaning.
 Even if the garment with sweat stains is cleaned expeditiously, the discoloration caused by the perspiration may permanently damage the garment. Also, when a garment is frequently cleaned it will eventually lose its attractiveness and become non-wearable.
 Attempts have been made to improve personal hygiene of the user by using antiperspirant agent that can reduce secretion from the glands beneath the skin of the user. However, even when using an antiperspirant agent, the user may still have excessive sweating, resulting in the moisture penetrating the fabric of the garment and forming an unsightly stain.
 The present invention contemplates provision of a disposable underarm garment shield that may be secured on the garment or in the underarm area of the user to absorb the perspiration and prevent soiling and discoloration of the garment.
 It is therefore, an object of the present invention to provide an underarm garment shield to protect the garment from perspiration.
 It is another object of the present invention to provide a disposable underarm garment shield that can be easily secured in the underarm area of the user and quickly removed therefrom.
 It is a further object of the present invention to provide a perspiration garment shield having a moisture-impermeable surface to prevent sweat from reaching the garment.
 These and other objects of the present invention are achieved through a provision of a flat flexible body comprised of a first porous layer, a second moisture-absorbing layer and a third moisture-impermeable layer. The body may have a variety of configurations, such as circular, oblong, rectangular, semi-circular, etc. The first soft porous layer contact the user's skin in the underarm area to capture the moisture secreted in the armpit of the user. The second layer absorbs and retains the moisture, while the third layer prevents the moisture from escaping the shield and contacting a garment. The third layer is comprised of a non-porous material.
 To secure the shield in the armpit, a pressure-sensitive adhesive coating may be deposited on an outermost surface of the third layer. The adhesive coating may be covered with a conventional peel-off strip, which is removed immediately before securing the shield to the garment.
 In the alternative, a flexible resilient band may be attached to the outside of the third layer by gluing or stitching. The flexible band forms a loop that is placed over a shoulder of the user to retain the shield in the armpit area. The shield is disposable and may be impregnated with an antiperspirant or deodorant agent, if desired.
 The underarm shield protects the garment from soiling and extends the usable life of the garment. The shield is thin and lies in contact the garment or with the user's body, protecting the garment in the critical area.
 Reference will now be made to the drawings wherein like parts are designated by like numerals, and wherein
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a garment with a shield of the present invention secured in the underarm area.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a garment with a shield of another embodiment of the present invention secured in the underarm area.
FIG. 3 is a top view of the shield of the present invention showing the first porous layer of the shield of a first embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 4 is a plan view of the first embodiment of the present invention showing a moisture-impermeable layer.
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 5-5 of FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing an alternative means of securing the underarm shield of the present invention.
FIG. 7 is a top view showing a porous layer of another configuration of the shield of the present invention.
FIG. 8 is a plan view showing a moisture-impermeable layer of the shield of FIG. 7.
FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 9-9 of FIG. 8.
 Turning now to the drawings in more detail, the first embodiment of the present invention is designated by numeral 10. The shield 10 has a generally semi-circular flat flexible body provided with an arcuate edge 12 and a straight edge 14. The shield 10 is comprised of several layers. The first, body-contacting layer 16 is made of a soft, porous moisture permeable material. The material of the first layer 16 allows the perspiration secreted in the underarm area to penetrate the layer 16 without collecting on the skin-contacting surface.
 The moisture then travels to the second inner layer 18 (FIG. 5) of the shield 10. The second layer 18 is made from a high moisture absorbing material that absorbs the moisture and retains the moisture by allowing the layer 18 to slightly expand, while not moving back through the layer 16. The second layer 18 is configured of the same size and shape as the layer 16, substantially covering the entire layer 16.
 The third layer 20 entirely covers the layer 18. The third layer 20 is made from a moisture-impermeable material that prevents the moisture from traveling outside of the layer 18. The third layer 20 is the garment-contacting layer. The layers 16, 18 and 20 are secured together to form a single body of the shield 10.
 A pressure sensitive adhesive coating 22 is deposited on the outer surface of the third layer 20. The coating 22 may be covered with conventional peel-off strips (not shown) which are removed prior to positioning the shield 10 on the garment.
 When positioning the shield 10 in the garment, the user peels off the covering strips and positions the shield 10 in the garment similarly to the position in FIG. 2, such that the shield 10 covers generally the underarm area of the garment. The shield 10 is oriented transversely to the seam of the garment, as shown in FIG. 2. The edge 14 is fitted to lie against an underarm seam of the garment on both sides of a side seam. The user then presses the coating 22 against the fabric of the garment, such that the layer 16, which is first and non-irritating to the skin, faces the skin of the user.
 The shield 10 is made from three layers of flexible material and is relatively thin. Wearing of the shield 10, even with a thin-fabric garment will not affect the shape or the structure of the garment to any noticeable degree. The adhesive coating 22 is strong enough to retain the shield 10 on the garment but can be easily released by peeling off the shield 10 from the garment after the garment has been taken off. The shield 10 can be then disposed of in a conventional manner.
 FIGS. 7-9 illustrate another configuration of the underarm shield of the present invention. As can be seen from the drawings, the underarm shield 30 is also comprised of three layers: the first porous moisture permeable layer 32, the second moisture absorbing layer 34, and a third, moisture impermeable layer 36. An adhesive coating 38, similar to the coating 22, is deposited on the outer surface of the third layer 36 to allow securing of the shield 30 on the garment of the user.
 The alternative configuration of the underarm perspiration shield has an elongated form, which may be a generally rectangular form, with rounded edges, or any other oblong shape of elongated configuration. The shield 30 can be folded along an imaginary center axis, designated by numeral 40 in FIG. 7. When positioning the shield 30, the user folds the shield 30 approximately in half along the axis 40. The user then positions the shield 30 with the center axis line 40 along the underarm seam of the garment. A portion of the shield 30 extends along the sleeve portion of the garment and the second portion of the shield 30 extends in the torso portion of the garment. FIG. 1 schematically illustrates positioning of the shield 30 in the garment underarm area.
 Similar to the shield 10, the shield 30 is secured by pressing the coating 38 to the fabric of the garment after peeling the protective strips. After use, the shield 30 is easily detached from the garment by releasing the glue in the adhesive coating 38 and then disposing of the shield 30 in the usual manner.
FIG. 6 illustrates an alternative method of securing the shield of the present invention without using the adhesive coating. In this embodiment, a shield 50, which is constructed of the same three layers as the shields 10 and 30, is provided with a flexible, stretchable elastic band 52 that is secured to an outer surface of the third, moisture impermeable layer of the shield. The elastic 52 may be secured by adhesive, stitching, or any other securing method to the third layer. The band 52 is made from a resilient stretchable material, which may be a flat elastic tape of a neutral color.
 In use, the user positions the shield 50 in contact with the underarm area, slightly folding the shield 50 along the centerline. At the same time, the user slips his arm through the loop formed by the band 52, positioning the band 52 over the shoulder. In this manner, the shield 50 is worn separately from the garment and is retained in place by the stretchable, flexible band 52. After use, the user slips the band 52 off the shoulder, removing the disposable shield 50, without affecting the structure of the garment. It is envisioned that the shield 50 is made particularly useful when wearing very delicate fabric, which may potentially be adversely affected by the adhesive coating.
 If desired, the shield 10, 30 and 50 may be impregnated with an antiperspirant and/or deodorant agents, that would enhance the hygienic qualities of the perspiration shield.
 The second layers 18 and 34 of the shields 10 and 30, respectively, are entirely sandwiched between the porous and non-porous layers as shown in FIGS. 5 and 9. While the layers 16 and 32 are highly porous, to allow perspiration to penetrate therethrough, these layers stay dry by allowing the moisture to move into the middle layer where the moisture is trapped by the absorbing materials 18 and 34.
 It is envisioned that the shield of the present invention may be constructed in a variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate different size people. The shield can be inexpensively manufactured using available technology and materials, so that the shield can be made easily disposable.
 Many changes and modifications can be made in the design of the present invention without departing from the spirit thereof. I therefore pray that my rights to the present invention be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.